Netflix just pulled Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas and people are losing their minds on social media. Streaming platforms can be tricky sometimes as Netflix subscribers are learning. Thanksgiving and Halloween are officially behind us, which means that it’s now Christmas time, even though that seemed to have started the day after Halloween this year. Whatever the case may be, it’s time for the holiday music, eggnog, and our favorite Christmas movies.
Netflix actually had How The Grinch Stole Christmas up starting in July of this year and then pulled it yesterday, December 1st. No Jim Carrey and Ron Howard goodness for certain streamers. This was not taken very well by some fans of the holiday movie on social media. “Christmas is cancelled this year because The Grinch has been taken off Netflix,” reads one subscriber complaint. Other subscribers have outright threatened to cancel their subscription due to the streaming platform’s decision to pull The Grinch, tweeting, “That’s it! My Netflix is cancelled.” It does seem like some pretty odd timing to take the holiday movie down.
Others have complained that Netflix’s selection of holiday movies isn’t so great this year. One subscriber wanted to know why Home Alone and The Grinch were both on the subscription service a few days ago and not now. It’s a common question and one can imagine it might have to do with streaming vs. network television rights. Movies like Home Alone are played on a daily basis, often times more than once in a day during the holiday season, and that might be part of Netflix’s contract with the studios. In the case of Home Alone, it is a 20th Century Fox movie and now owned by Disney. It has since migrated to Disney+.
Regardless, Netflix subscribers are not happy about missing some of their favorite holiday movies. How The Grinch Stole Christmas came out in 2000 and was a hit at the box office. Jim Carrey was a perfect, yet creepy, version of the iconic character. Though it received mixed reviews upon its release, it was still able to gross $345 million globally and is still making money every holiday season, thanks to Jim Carrey’s unhinged performance and Ron Howard’s directorial work. Netflix’s help center had this to say about the movie getting pulled.
“Netflix licenses TV shows and movies from studios and content providers around the world, and those licenses can expire if we don’t renew them. Though we strive to keep the content you want to see, we acquire licensing rights for TV shows and movies for a certain period of time – not indefinitely – so some titles do leave Netflix. If a TV show or movie you love is leaving, it indicates that our licensing agreement with the content provider is about to end. Whenever a TV show or movie is expiring, we evaluate whether or not to renew it using the same criteria we apply to potential new content.”
It is probably too costly to try and compete with network television in keeping the rights through the holidays. While you can’t stream How The Grinch Stole Christmas on Netflix, you can more than likely watch it on basic cable with a ton of commercials, or you can go old school and bust out a DVD or Blu-ray copy of the movie and show the kids what used to happen in the dark ages before the almighty streaming. You can head over to Netflix streaming service to ask for The Grinch.